The Great Glebe GREEN Garage Sale is a garage sale, fundraiser, vegetarian BBQ, family activity spot and party all rolled into one. There’s baked goods and coffee, a water bottle refilling station, massage therapists and live DJs. Even better, proceeds support the great work of Ecology Ottawa (90%) and the Ottawa Food Bank (10%), and the event helps raise awareness of environmental issues in Ottawa–not to mention keeping reusable items from the landfill.
Ecology Ottawa is looking for volunteers to make the GGGG sale happen:
Everything is coordinated by more than 100 passionate volunteers, without whom this event would not be possible. This year we are looking for volunteers of all ages for various jobs, including:
– People with access to a vehicle (or a bike with trailer) to pick-up donations ahead of the sale, and to distribute leftover items to worthy organizations after the event (May 23-31).
– Folks to sort donations in the days leading up to the event (May 23-27).
– Lots of help at the actual event, including some brave souls to help set everything up at the crack of dawn, salespeople, folks to run the BBQ, people to paint kids’ faces, and plenty of other help to make the event run smoothly (Saturday, May 28).
– Help in the days following the event, to sort the leftover items, distribute them to worthy local organizations, return items borrowed from our supporters, and tidy the venue (May 29-31).
If you’re clearing out stuff you don’t need, and think someone else could use it, consider these options:
Agencies in Ottawa are co-ordinating to collect clothes and household items in good shape for refugees and residents in need. Councillor Rick Chiarelli has posted a handy map here of drop-off locations and links for Ottawa Neighbourhood Services, the Salvation Army, St. Vincent de Paul and other organizations.
Helping With Furniture collects used furniture and household goods from certain parts of the city for delivery to refugee families. See details here.
St. Mark School is hosting an Electronic Waste Collection Depot this weekend. Find them on Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016 from 12-4 p.m. at 1040 Dozois Road in Manotick. (They’re also collecting gently used clothing.)
You can consult the City of Ottawa’s Take It Back program to find out where to recycle or discard used clothes, household goods, electronics, hazardous materials and other things, or use their “Waste Explorer” to search for where to take a specific item.
In this busy season, we often worry about doing enough—seeing everyone we want to see, making enough food for holiday meals, finding just the right gifts for family and friends.
Of course, the most important gift this time of year—or anytime—is time.
Sometimes, though, you do want to give a little something to people. If you’re still looking for those last few gifts, why not consider thingless giving, or other ways of giving sustainably?
Or how about a sustainable gift that gives twice? A few examples:
Gifts that donate: Through USC Canada’s Gifts That Grow, you can send your loved one a card while supporting a farmer or school gardens. UNICEF Canada, the Nature Conservancy of Canada and many other organizations have similar arrangements for contributing to sustainability on behalf of someone else.
Gifts that reuse: Recycled gifts, chosen with care, can be a great option. Right now, when you purchase used clothes, toys, Christmas decorations or other items from Ottawa Neighbourhood Services, you’re contributing to their work to make needed goods available to low-income, refugee and other people in Ottawa. Ten Thousand Villages has good fair trade items, like ornaments made from recycled paper, or jewellery made from reclaimed materials. Ottawa has lots of other places to find art and crafts made from upcycled materials.
Buying someone a CSA share—i.e., a weekly delivery of local produce from an area farm—is also an investment in the sustainability of our food system.
Gifts that support sustainable causes: Ottawa has quite a few social enterprises that support social and environmental good. For example, when you buy jewellery, toys or other items through Operation Come Home’s Repurpose store, you’re buying upcycled as well as supporting artists who are youth at-risk or homeless. When you buy Beau’s beer, which is sustainably made from organic ingredients, you’re also contributing to the causes they support with their profits. A purchase of greeting cards of Ottawa scenes from Causeway supports employment programs for people who are disadvantaged. (I picked some up at the Westboro Pharmasave.)
Keep an eye out for companies that donate to environmental causes. For example, when you purchase art at Studio Sixty-Six during December, 10% of the proceeds will go to the Ottawa Riverkeeper.
September brings pressures to buy stuff, like fall clothes and school supplies. Buying sustainable is one option; re-using, recycling and buying local or handcrafted items can be great alternatives.
Here are a few opportunities to shop local and/or repurposed:
The Old Ottawa South Community Association holds its Community Wide Porch Sale on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015. The sale includes a tool drive for the Ottawa Tool Library, and an e-waste depot that supports Hopewell School Council and HealthBridge. Centretown, Sandy Hill and other communities are also holding neighbourhood-wide garage sales on Saturday.
Also on Saturday, Sept. 12, the new 613flea, a non-profit marketplace for artists, artisans, antique vendors, vintage clothing sellers and other creative types to sell their wares, launches at Lansdowne Park. At the annual punkottawa.comflea market at the Bronson Centre, you’ll find records, clothing, jewelry, art and more.
Update:Dress for Success Ottawa is holding a Fall Hidden Treasures Saleon Saturday, Sept. 12 until noon. Proceeds support DFS’s efforts to enable women in difficult circumstances to obtain clothes suitable for work.
(When you’re cleaning up at home this weekend, gather up any empty beer and wine bottles—if you return them to Beer Stores on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 12 and 13, 2015, all of the proceeds support Rogers House, which provides respite and palliative care to families at CHEO.)
Stock up on used books when Friends of the Ottawa Public Library hold their next Mammoth Book Sale on Saturday, Sept. 19, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at 100 Tallwood Drive. You can also purchase used books at many library branches; proceeds support the library through FOPL. If you’d like to donate books, check here for details on what’s needed.
If you’re looking for home renovation supplies, check out Habitat for Humanity’s ReStores—there’s one in Ottawa East and one in Ottawa West. Profits support Habitat for Humanity. They also accept donations of building and home décor materials, although it’s best to call to find out what they need. The stores also accept used electronics for recycling.
Need a bike to get to work or school, or just to ride? Try re-Cycles or Cycle Salvation. They sell refurbished bikes, and also accept bike donations. Check their websites for details.
Since March, EnviroCentre has been hosting monthly workshops to Ottawa residents on a variety of topics ranging from basic bike maintenance, understanding utility bills and misconceptions about draftiness and windows.
Given that two of the major areas contributing to greenhouse gas emissions in Canada come from the energy sector, such as heat and electricity generation, and transportation, the workshops aim to educate and empower residents on aspects of home energy efficiency and getting around more sustainably, so they can make changes within their own lives and contribute on a grander scale to the problem of climate change that faces us all.
The next workshop is coming up this Thursday, June 25 and is on the theme of how an energy assessment can help you plan your next reno. Register now for this workshop!
Fresh vegetables, from a local farm to your kitchen: that’s community-supported agriculture (CSA).
With CSAs, you pay a farm for a “share” in what it produces over the season, and the farmers provide you with a regular order of fresh vegetables, usually every week.
CSAs are a great way to eat local; many of the farms are organic. You’ll also be supporting local food producers, who benefit through a more stable income source. Of course, you’ll be getting a variety of healthy produce, usually vegetables and herbs. Some CSAs allow you to order eggs, poultry, beef or other products.
Most CSAs offer half-shares or a range of share sizes depending on how much you think you can use. They usually also have ways to work around your holidays, if you’re away for part of the summer.
The producers often include newsletters with recipes, organize farm visits or have other ways of engaging their customers, so you get to try new foods as well as get to know more about the people growing the food.
There are more farms than ever offering CSAs around Ottawa. Farms usually deliver to drop-off points around the city, so you can look at their offerings and find one that delivers near you.
You can search for CSAs on Just Food’s map at http://justfood.ca/buy-local-food-guide/. Ottawa C.S.A. also provides a map of CSAs by drop-off point and lists several local CSA farms. There’s also the Ontario CSA Farm Directory at http://csafarms.ca/index.html. I’ve had CSAs from Roots and Shoots and from Karen Farm at the Just Food Farm, but as you can see there are lots of options. Farms and CSA offerings vary, so check that too.
Here’s a list of CSA farms I compiled, in alphabetical order, with links to their websites. Check the websites or contact the farms directly to confirm whether they’re offering CSAs—and do let me know if I’ve missed any.
There’s no shortage of things to do this weekend, June 6-7, 2015.
Doors Open Ottawa opens the doors to more than 120 Ottawa landmarks and interesting places. If you’ve ever wanted to see inside an embassy, an architecturally significant building, an artist’s studio, a greenhouse or a historic site, check the list (and schedule).
Giveaway Weekend happens June 6-7. You put household items you no longer want on your curb, mark them “free,” and people can take them away. (There are some restrictions—for example no cribs or car seats–so check the website for guidelines.) Lots of garage sales happen this weekend, too, so you might find something that you need (and keep it out of the landfill). Check OttawaStart or Used Ottawa for locations.
Saturday is also the Great Canadian Lemonade Standemonium, where people set up lemonade stands in neighbourhoods all over the city. The event supports the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation.
Ottawa Veg Fest is a celebration of all things vegan and vegetarian. Organized by the National Capital Vegetarian Association, the event includes talks on health and sustainability topics, exhibits, food samples and cooking demonstrations. Admission is by donation.
Velo Vogue’s Fashion Show is on Saturday, June 6. Get inspired to ride your bike, and check out local clothing and accessories, food and drinks. Proceeds support RightBike.
Random Hacks of Kindness might be your thing if you’re interested in brainstorming with others about environmental and social challenges. Participants will be designing apps for the Child and Nature Alliance of Canada, Ottawa Riverkeeper, VoteSavvy and other organizations from Friday, June 5-Sunday, June 7.
Part of the Magnetic North Theatre Festival June 4-13, The Global Savages (June 8-13) is described as an 18,000 year old story that presents the world view of Indigenous people, told by the Debajehmujig Storytellers, in outdoor performances that evolve as the storytellers engage with people and places. The Global Savages are also inviting people to join them early on Saturday, June 6 from 4:45 a.m.-8:00 a.m. for a Sunrise Walk on the Sentier des Voyageurs Trail from Gatineau to Ottawa.